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Chapter 12

Miscellaneous Properties in Rawdon

“Proputty, proputty, proputty, that’s what I ‘ears ‘em saay.”


Micklefield House

It has had a very varied history. The original house dated back to 1616. David Marshall built a new house on the site in 1662. There is a sundial in the grounds dated 1691 with the initials “M.A.M.” on it.

William Leavens (1747-1818) lived there before moving to Upper Wood House (see p. 45). His nephew William White1 (1801-72 and brother of John White) rebuilt it in 1847 as a date stone shows. About 1863 White moved to All Alone, Idle Moor, no doubt an appropriate name in those days, and which had been the home of his parents, also William (1765-1847) and Sarah (1765-1848) where he died about 1875. He seems to have been in reduced circumstances.2

White put the estate up for sale by auction in lots in 1863. The house and park were purchased by William Kutter,<3 whose address was given as Buckstone Cottage, Rawdon, I suspect it may have been bought as a speculation. Certainly before the sale the house was occupied by John Venimore Godwin4 and his family. The Godwins lived there until about 1870 when he purchased Crowtrees House (see p. 57).

Some of the other lots were withdrawn but may have been sold privately. Godwin also bought a lot described as “Pease Hill” which may have been the field given by his son to Rawdon U.D.C. in 1919. The sales also included a triangular plot to the north of Leeds Road which had been cut off by the road in 1828. Kutter sold in 1871 to Thomas Arton5 (1823-1910), a Bradford stuff merchant, then living at Shipley Hall. There was an extension to the west in 1872 with a coat of arms carved in stone on the south facing gable. His son (died 1928) was still living in the house in 1918, but it may have been let until Rawdon U.D.C. purchased it in 1930.

There is a stained glass window in the house. It bears a coat of arms, namely a chevron with five fleur de lys imposed on it and a most unusual crest – a candle in a candle-stick – with no helm or torse. The motto is “Omnia vincit veritas” (truth conquers all). There is also a stone shield over the front door showing a simple chevron. Leeds Council has recently spent £200,000 refurbishing and extending the building. There is a cottage on Salisbury Street (possibly once a coach house to Micklefield House) with a different coat of arms carved in stone.

Micklefield Grange

Standing at the junction of Micklefield Lane and Micklefield Road, in the 1851 O.S. map called Micklefield Dubb, a dialect word for a pond. According to the 1838 Tithe Map the pond was on part of what is now the golf course. It is an early 19th century house, which in the middle of that century was owned by Thomas Grimshaw, born 1810. In 1908 it was owned by Sir William Duncan (see p. 73).


At the junction of Leeds Road and Apperley Lane, this is one of the most fascinating houses in Rawdon and one which would intrigue a house detective. Obviously built at three or four (or more) dates, the oldest part may be 17th century. It was two houses by at least 1851. By the end of the 18th century it was Hird property and then the home of John Womersley (born 1781 and a wealthy wool stapler) followed by his son William (born 1807. He was still there in 1870 though by 1877 Mrs Fison was in occupation). The elder Womersley was the father-in-law of both Nathaniel Briggs (he and his first wife were still living in part of the house when Arthur was born in 1836) and Thomas S. Fison, the brother of William Fison, the partner of W. E. Forster at Greenholme Mills, Burley-in-Wharfedale. The Fisons had come from Barningham, near Bury-St-Edmunds, Suffolk. In the 1930s it was occupied by Reg Vinter, a son of Dr. Arthur Vinter of Woodhouse Grove. He was a dairy farmer and also involved in speculative building. He developed the 10 pairs of semi-detached houses facing Leeds Road between Mawcroft and the present doctors’ surgery, and further small houses have been built in the grounds of Mawcroft in recent years.

Westfield House, Apperley Lane

Built in 1807 when it must have had a magnificent view to the west, by James Tatham (1765-1831) a Quaker doctor.6 It was visited in 1812 by Maria Branwell of Penzance, the future wife of the Rev. Patrick Brontë, who was staying with her uncle the Rev. John Fennell, the first headmaster of Woodhouse Grove. She wrote to the Rev. Patrick, then Vicar of Hartshead, near Cleckheaton, saying:

“I was toiling up the hill with Jane and Mrs Clapham to take tea at Mrs Tathams thinking of the evening when I first took the same walk with you, not wholly without a wish that I had your arm to assist me and your conversation to shorten the walk.”

The curtilage was over three acres and included four cottages. For a while in the 1840s it was a girls’ boarding school7 and later for a time occupied by the Rev. Dr. Ackworth (see p. 59). From about 1880 to the late 1920s it was owned by the Waud family of Britannia Mills, Manchester Road, Bradford, at that time the largest spinners in the City. In the 1970s the grounds were sold for residential development and the house is now two flats.

The Grange, Town Street

An interesting property, parts of which are about 300 years old. Obviously a dower or subsidiary house to Layton Hall. It had been two separate houses at one time (as it is again today). The centre portion with flat roof is certainly 20th century and I suspect the hand of George Foggitt, the local architect, who married a daughter of the house in 1925. For the last 40 years or so of the 19th century it was occupied by the agents to the Green-Emmott estate.

The Mount, Town Street

To confuse the issue this was sometimes called ‘Mount Grange’. The rear part was built in 1710, no doubt by Thomas Layton. The front part was added in 1830 causing a double gable end. It was occupied early in the 19th century by one of the Thompson family. As late as 1905 it still belonged to the Emmott estate and had a much larger garden. It is now three houses.

Arcadia, Layton Avenue (formerly Back Lane)

Semi-detached, but not identical houses, to the rear of the graveyard and not to be confused with Acacia. There is evidence that the more westerly house was used in the 1860s as a boarding school for girls by a Mrs Binns and later by a Mrs Hartley.


To the east of Micklefield Lane, now on the golf course land, and a strange name for a house in Yorkshire. Originally another Thompson home, (first Johnnywell and later Richard). Subsequently demolished and rebuilt nearer the wood and in the 1930s occupied by a Grandage of the Bradford engineering firm, and then a home for the deaf and dumb. It is now a private hospital.

Highfield Villa and Meadowcroft

Very large but not identical semis built in 1870 for two brothers, the Wades, local mill owners.

Crowtrees House

The original house has two separate date stones on it, 1625 to the rear and 1670 in front and also the initials ‘C.C.’ The Rev. Samuel Cotes, a dissenting minister who had been ejected from his parish of West Bridgeford, near Nottingham, returned to the house, his family home, in 1662 which apparently he extended. He died, aged 67 in 1684, when the Rev. Oliver Heywood attended his funeral. The house was occupied by Timothy Cooper, a Quaker, in the early 18th century and ultimately came into the possession of Richard Hird. The existing outbuildings to the rear appear to be late 18th century. Before Leeds Road was made the ‘Co-op. Triangle’ formed part of the estate, as did lands as far as Harrogate Road and the Pease Hill footpath.

It became an inn in 1830, at the end of a long uphill pull from Kirkstall, being kept in the mid-19th century by the Harper family. J.V. Godwin bought it about 1870, demolished it, rebuilding it as a house in a similar 17th century style and reusing much of the original stone. This gives it the appearance of being older than it is in fact. The very impressive curtain wall to Leeds Road was built at the same time. He lived there and was succeeded by his son, Sir Arthur, and later by Heaton Naylor of the Green Lane dyeworks. For a while it was a Leeds Council old persons home but is again a private house.

Canada Row

There are 42 through terrace houses in this block, started in 1817 by a mutual self help ‘Building Club’.8 These were common at the time, there being Club Streets or Club Rows in Leeds (3), Bradford, Pudsey, Rodley, Wilsden and Yeadon (Town Street and King Street). The land was acquired in 1817 from John and Barbara Marshall of Yeadon. The trustees were William Thompson, the younger and Richard Thompson, the younger, both of Rawdon, Joseph Marshall of Yeadon and Thomas Hartley of Rawdon; the solicitor was Hardisty of Horsforth and plots were still being sold as late as 1830. The houses seem generally to have been sold in pairs. No doubt the Thompsons helped with the initial finance, but may well have had in mind providing accommodation for workers at their mills. However home weaving would be carried on in the houses. The top house has a blocked ‘taking in door’ in the gable end where there would have been a hoist.

Before the Council houses were built on the other side of Canada Road in the 1920s, there must have been a magnificent view up the Aire valley and this is still not entirely lost. The area would be remote in the early days and basic facilities were provided. The premises at the Harrogate Road end, now a laundrette, were a general store and there is evidence that one nearby was a butchers. The only double fronted house towards the top was a pub, (see p. 42) the trap doors for the barrels still being visible, and before long there was a Primitive Methodist Chapel (see p. 35).

Substantially built with good-sized rooms, because of the rise in the land, the houses were built in steps of four and originally sold in pairs. There are variations in the internal layout but basically they are all ‘two-up and two-down’, the bedrooms being large enough to allow for bathrooms to be created in modern times. Where did the name Canada come from? The area had previously been called ‘Cross Hills’, which explains itself to anyone going from Rawdon to Yeadon.

Batter Lane Properties

Batter Farm dates from 1775, being the middle of the three cottages. The other two cottages were built about 1780 and Stoneycroft House slightly later.

Commercial Buildings

Rawdon Industrial Co-operative Society Building9

The first Co-operative Society was started at Rochdale in 1844. The Rawdon Industrial Co-operative Society was formed in 1861, the first President being Joseph Waite. The earliest premises were in North Street but before long 400 square yards of land were acquired at the junction of New Road Side and Harrogate Road and a triangular building was erected at a cost of £440. By 1892 the Society also had two shops in Yeadon.

It acquired the ‘Co-op Triangle’ from Sir Arthur Godwin and the well-known building, designed by Morley and Son of Bradford, was opened in 1907. Other parts of the triangle were sold off including one corner to Rawdon U.D.C. for a council yard (now old persons bungalows) whilst the remaining angle became the Garden of Remembrance. The building gave its name for many years to the whole cross-roads area, but when Co-operative Societies began to amalgamate in the 1970s the block was sold and is now privately owned shops and offices.

The Rawdon Empire Cinema10

In 1924 the Rechabites, a friendly society with strong views against drink, built the Temperance Hall, a modest brick building, in New Road Side. The architects were Braithwaite and Jenkinson. The idea was that the lower part was to be a meeting hall for the Rechabites and the upper part, a cinema. By 1927 the Rechabites had left and the cinema had the whole of the building. Having difficulty in competing with the bigger chains of cinemas it had a chequered career with various financial crises and changes of ownership. It closed in 1964, was demolished, and is now the site of a petrol filling station. Update 2010 – the petrol station is no more and the land now provides house and flats. After a period as a filling station it has now been made into housing and is now known as Weavers Fold.


1. The crenellated tower suggests Lockwood and Mawson as architects but the date 1847 is perhaps too early. White’s son, Arthur Robson White, married Louisa, daughter of Col. George Stott-Stanhope of Eccleshill (died 1874). He was the grandson of Susannah Stanhope (1734-1806) who in turn was a great, great, great granddaughter of Walter Stanhope of Horsforth (1572-1660) and father-in-law of Anne Rawdon (see p. 9). The Colonel had adopted the name of Stott-Stanhope in 1856.

2. The street name Whitelands does not come from William White but was in use before his time.


3. Kutter sounds German but cannot be traced in the records of the large German community in 19th century Bradford. Is Buckstone Cottage what is now Beech Cottage i.e. the cottage to Buckstone House? Though then living in Ilkley, Kutter died in the St. Pancras Hotel, London, his wife having previously died in Paris. Their child, Gustavus, was buried in Rawdon churchyard in 1869 aged four. There was a stained glass window to the south aisle of the Church featuring heraldic devices. In 1923 the Rev. J.H. Edwards, the then curate, wrote “Arms of Kutter?” of this window as though there were some doubt. Sometime in the 1980s the window was vandalised and being considered of neither great religious or artistic significance, it was decided not to replace it. I feel there may be a story about the Kutters but it is for a creative writer and not an historian.


4. J.V. Godwin (1814-98) was born at Dartmouth and educated at Edinburgh University. He started working at Milligan, Forbes in 1841 but in 1851 went into business on his own account. He married Rachel, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Ackworth. He was an Alderman in Bradford in 1863 and Mayor 1865/6, much involved with street improvements (hence Godwin St) and with the creation of a public library, a magistrate and President of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1874 he stood, unsuccessfully, for parliament opposing W.E. Forster whose educational reforms he disagreed with. His father the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Godwin (1785-1871) had served in the Royal Navy in Nelson’s time. He became a Baptist minister and came to the Baptist College, then at Great Horton in 1823. He had published a book against Negro slavery in 1830 and in his retirement lived in a cottage, now demolished, in the grounds of Micklefield House. Sir John Arthur Godwin (1863-1921), knighted in 1913 and son of J.V. Godwin, was also a graduate of Edinburgh. Bradford Councillor in 1900, Alderman 1903 and Mayor in 1906/7, becoming during his year of office the first Lord Mayor. He died at Grassington where he also had a house and though a strong Baptist his funeral filled Bradford Cathedral, when Bishop Perowne gave the address. For the Godwin family see ‘The Bradford Bystander’ April 1971.


5. He was the son of William Arton of Horsforth who was described as a Land Agent, but appears to have been of quite humble birth. His mother was the daughter of Joseph Exley of Bedlam (see p. 48). Arton also bought Tanfield Lodge, near Ripon in 1886 and the Bourne-Arton family, still at Tanfield descend from him. Although he was one of the first members and chairman for some years of the Rawdon Board of Health, he was not very active in politics. On the arrival of trams in 1911 he gave two tram shelters on Leeds Road (one still exists at the top of Knott Lane). Obviously he had made a fortune and on his death the ‘Bradford Observer’ expressed the opinion that he was a millionaire.


6. Many Quakers turned to medicine as neither the state or their religious views forbade it, though generally training in Scotland or Holland.


7. The large exterior bell may date from this occupation.


8. Technically these clubs were ‘Terminating Building Societies’ which were wound up as soon as a particular project was completed. By the 1840s ‘Permanent Building Societies’ had arrived on the scene.


9. For further information see ‘A Century of Progress 1865-1965’. (Anon)


10. For further information see ‘The Rise and Fall of the Rawdon Empire’ (1995) D.M. Ryder.